Brewery spill turns river blood red in ‘gruesome’ pollution incident in Japan

A brewery leak has left a flowing river blood red in colour, alarming residents about the mysterious change. A river in the Japanese city of Nago was infected by a food colouring leak as footage showed the waters turning a deep red in colour. 

Beer factory Orion Breweries, who it was later revealed were responsible for the leak, issued a statement shortly after the incident and apologised for “causing enormous trouble and worry”.

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Officials of Orion Breweries confirmed that a food colouring dye had leaked into the river through the rain gutter but did not pose any health risks.

Local residents took to social media and described the flowing red water as “gruesome” and “venomous”.

The leak reportedly started in one of the cooling systems of the brewery which likely occurred last Tuesday (June 27). It was stopped at around 9.30am local time, according to Japanese media reports.

Officials at the brewery said the chemical propylene glycol had resulted in the colour change. The chemical is used as a food additive by factories in the cooling process.

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Commonly used in drug and cosmetic industries, it is “generally recognised as safe”, the US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has said.

The brewery company’s president Hajime Murano said the firm was investigating how the leak had occurred. 

The official added that they would take steps in future to prevent such a leakage from occuring again.

A local health official said “no major impact on the environment” was expected from the leak, reported the Okinawa Times newspaper.

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